How to Answer: Why do you want to work in the nonprofit sector when you can earn more money working in a profit driven corporate environment?
Advice and answer examples written specifically for a The Salvation Army job interview.
14. Why do you want to work in the nonprofit sector when you can earn more money working in a profit driven corporate environment?
How to Answer
Many nonprofit organizations cannot afford to pay the big salaries of profit-driven organizations. The interviewer wants to know that you are okay with potentially earning less than the average person in your field. Talk to the interviewer about an experience that illustrates your passion for the specific work of the Salvation Army.
Avoid being overly negative about money in your response. Acknowledge that while money and benefits are important, you are not exclusively motivated by the desire to make money. Then, highlight your connection to the mission without diminishing the motivations of others. This is an opportunity to share the values that motivate you rather than those that do not.
1st Answer Example
"Although salary and benefits are important to me, I derive the most satisfaction in my career if I am passionate about the work I am doing. I am grateful for the research skills I developed during my time as an intern with a large real estate firm, but it was my time using those skills to create a stakeholder-focused development plan for a small village in Uganda that gave me a purpose. At the end of the day, I want to come home knowing that my work contributed to the improvement of humanity in some small way. That brings me a much greater sense of fulfillment than I ever had when I made more money."
2nd Answer Example
"Every person needs money to survive, and I am no different. What makes me unique, however, is my motivation for working hard. When I come to work, I want to be focused on the mission. For every task I set my mind to, I want to contextualize its place within the overall mission of the organization. This allows me to see the measurable, positive impact my work has on the lives of others, and this gives me the fulfillment I seek in life."